Writing is on the wall for vandals
CRUNCH talks have been held to plan how to stop the return of graffiti which has blighted city centre buildings.
Businesses, police and Peterborough City Council have met at a business forum to talk about the options available for combating graffiti vandals who have daubed slogans on buildings in Cathedral Square.
The move comes after graffiti reappeared on top of a row of 40ft high buildings in the square, which had just had graffiti removed.
They included HMV, Norwich and Peterborough and HSBC bank.
Now the firms and police have joined forces to come up with solutions, such as buying anti-graffiti products to stop spray paint sticking and a city centre graffiti board.
The latest graffiti will be removed and a number of measures aimed at keeping the building clean will be costed out.
A spokeswoman for N&P said they welcomed the joint approach and said they were delighted everyone was keen to work together to tackle the problem – especially following the completion of works to Cathedral Square.
She said: “We are looking at the potential next steps and options as well as things like roof access points.
“Everyone was very positive at the meeting, which is good .”
City centre police sergeant Nikki Hall said the police were pleased to be working together with all the agencies in the city centre and described the meeting as positive.
Sgt Hall said: “Our role in this is two-fold – preventative, stopping the graffiti happening, which was the point of this meeting, and our main focus detection, which is trying to identify the culprits.
“We have been really pleased to see so many families in Cathedral Square and hope that people will keep an eye out and tell us if they see anything suspicious going on.”
But Safe Radio Link chairman, Graham Burr, who also sits on the city centre police panel and Business Against Crime group, said the time could be right for a city centre graffiti board.
He said: “I think the businesses and police do need to work together and I am pleased they are looking at different options.
“We are hosting a “Sorted” roadshow in the city centre in July and will have graffiti artists teaching youngsters how to create in a positive way.
“I think we need a graffiti board for youngsters, maybe somewhere near the Embankment, where they can express themselves in a good manner.”
Mr Burr also agreed that people needed to keep the police informed if they see graffiti activity.
He said: “I am a big fan of e-cops which is great as you can e-mail from your own home and remain anonymous if you are maybe worried about calling the police.
“People often blame a lack of CCTV, but cameras can’t be pointed everywhere and everyone has to be prepared to tell police if they see anything.”
A spokeswoman for Peterborough City Council confirmed they were helping the businesses co-ordinate their response.
If you spot graffiti either call police on 0345 456 4564 or contact Peterborough City Council on 01733 747474.
PROBLEM: Graffiti on building tops in Cathedral Square.